Friday, August 30, 2019

How does Miller initially present Rodolpho? Essay

Miller initially presents Rodolpho through the use of description, dialogue, stage directions, structure and punctuation. Miller uses these techniques to present Rodolpho as a transgressive, ‘unsicilian’ feminine character. Miller initially presents Rodolpho as a transgressive character through the use of dialogue. Miller attempts to draw the audience’s attention towards Rodolpho’s appearance when the character Catherine states; â€Å"How come he’s so dark and you’re so light†. Miller contrasts Rodolpho’s appearance with a traditional Sicilian man, Marco, suggesting that Rodolpho is ‘an outsider’ in Sicilian culture. Miller’s notion is emphasised when Catherine, again, childishly states; â€Å"He’s practically blond!†, the repetitive physical description suggests Miller’s desire for to audience to be drawn to Rodolpho’s ‘Unsicilian’ characteristic, furthered even more by Catherine’s dramatic reaction to Rodolpho’s appearance, possibly indicating Rodolpho is the first blonde man she has seen, despite living in the overpopulated town of Red Hooke. Miller presents Rodolpho through the use of stage directions. Miller possibly compares Rodolpho’s feminine characteristic to Catherine’s when â€Å"He [Rodolpho] helps B set out the coffee]†, compared to â€Å"[Catherine] continues ladling out the plates†. In a patriarchal society, this behaviour was frowned upon, much to Eddie’s dismay. Miller could be using this comparison as prolepsis to when Eddie shouts â€Å"He’s not right† later on in the play, with the quote symbolising Rodolpho’s feminine character. Another stage direction associated with Rodolpho; â€Å"(Smiling)† suggests Miller is content with presenting Rodolpho as a feminine character, as Miller appears to present emotion with connotations of feminine behaviour, much like Rodolpho is consistently presented. Miller here utilises the technique of dramatic irony, the audience understands that Rodolpho’s feminine behaviour is frowned upon by Eddie, whilst Rodolpho himself is unaware, because of this tension builds up and one can argue that Rodolpho’s role in this play is to build tension. Whilst Rodolpho’s appearance differs from a traditional Sicilian man, Miller presents the initial impression that Rodolpho’s behaviour is indecorous; through the use of structure and stage directions. Rodolpho’s utterance length is consistently longer than Marco’s, and even the patriarch Eddie. In contrast, Marco, an example of a true Sicilian man speaks short Mono-syllabic sentences. Not only does the logorrheic Rodolpho have a long utterance length, Miller often punctuates Rodolpho’s sentences with exclamation marks .This subtle use of punctuation highlights Rodolpho’s ‘emotion’ and ‘passion’, arguably a stereotypical Italian quality but when contrasted to the emotionless â€Å"suspicious, quite-voiced† Marco, an example of transgressive behaviour. Miller confirms Rodolpho’s behaviour is indecorous in Sicilian culture when Eddies is â€Å"coming to address Marco more and more†, the patriarch of the house does not approve of Rodolpho’s behaviour but in comparison accepts the directly contrasting character, Marco. To conclude, Rodolpho is initially presented as a transgressive character through the use of dialogue, description, structure, punctuation and finally stage directions. Miller possibly choses to contrast Rodolpho with Marco to highlight the differences between American and Sicilian culture, Rodolpho’s behaviours maybe perceived as wrong in Sicilian culture but acceptable in an American society. On the other hand, Miller maybe equally trying to educate the, mainly American, audience about Sicilian culture. I think that the use of description was especially effective at indicating to the audience that Rodolpho was ‘the outsider’ and possibly the centre of any drama. I do not think that Miller’s use of punctuation and stage directions are effective for a modern day audience because in an ‘Americanised’ society, Rodolpho’s behaviour is acceptable whereas when the play was shown to its original audience, Miller’s use of stage directions would have been more effective. Overall, though, I think Miller has presented Miller initially as a transgressive character, and has done so very effectively.

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